Morgan Mercer is using virtual reality to combat sexual assault - Technical.ly DC

Business

Dec. 1, 2017 10:00 am

Morgan Mercer is using virtual reality to combat sexual assault

Vantage Point is building a prototype that is designed to provide training at businesses and universities.
Morgan Mercer is the founder of Vantage Point.

Morgan Mercer is the founder of Vantage Point.

(Courtesy photo)

Morgan Mercer wants to change sexual assault and harassment training, one company and school at a time. She’s hired actors, has scripts prepared and next week she and her crew (including a multiple Emmy-winner) will film the first scenario for her virtual reality sexual harassment training program called Vantage Point.

“I’m a two-time victim of sexual violence,” Mercer told Technical.ly DC. “I believe everything you experience happens for a reason, and you have to take your negative experiences and use them to help others.”

The idea is to provide colleges and company employees with an interactive form of mandatory training through virtual reality scenarios they might experience at the office or at school. The users will see the incidents and will be tested on an appropriate response, from ignoring it to calling the police.

“We’re trying to train you on how to react as a bystander and trying to reinforce the notion that stopping sexual harassment and sexual assault is a community-led initiative,” she said. “The support we’ve been getting is incredible. We’ve had women tell us, ‘I quit my job, this is what happened to me. I don’t know how I can be involved with your project, but let me know what I can do.'”

Mercer, a self-described workaholic, is a native of Charlotte, North Carolina, and held three jobs while studying business and political science at the University of East Carolina. She speaks Russian and Italian, and taught herself how to program C# shortly after moving to the DC.. area in 2014.

“At the collegiate level, one in four women are victims of sexual assault – 80 percent go unreported,” Mercer said. “I think it’s because you have a lack of effective training tools and education and support offerings and knowing how to treat these instances when they happen.”

Mercer recently quit her full-time job as the digital marketing manager of online consignment boutique SnobSwap, and now works out of her D.C. apartment where she gets her best work done between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. So far, she won “Best Presenter and Pitch” at the BIG VR EcoHack 2017, the “Most Social Impact Hack” at ByteHacks + Spotify NYC and was a recent panelist at General Assembly. She’s also been asked to mentor at Georgetown’s Hoya Hacks 2017 and 2018.

Advertisement

“My background is not bright and shiny,” Mercer said. “For me growing up, I always looked at my environment and I always saw it for what it could be.”

-30-
CONTRIBUTE TO THE
JOURNALISM FUND

Already a contributor? Sign in here
Connect with companies from the Technical.ly community
New call-to-action

Advertisement

Verizon awarded Byte Back with a $100K grant

Healthcare analytics startup Socially Determined closed a $11.1M Series A funding round

DC’s Collective Liberty is a finalist for the 2020 SXSW Pitch competition

SPONSORED

DC

How this software engineer’s career change has helped her make change in the world

Philadelphia

Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters: Jr. Motion Graphic Designer

Apply Now

Philadelphia

URBN

URBN: User Experience (UX) Designer

Apply Now

Washington, D.C.

The Washington Post

Professional Services Engineering Lead

Apply Now

Halcyon welcomes 10 local entrepreneurs for its Opportunity Intensive program

Columbia-based Unleashed Technologies acquired by Linc Partners

Quorum launched a pledge to help organizations build diversity and inclusion programs

SPONSORED

DC

Introducing ‘Off the Sidelines,’ a new podcast series about startup investing

Washington, D.C.

The Washington Post

Digital Analyst – Audience Development & Analytics

Apply Now

Washington, D.C.

The Washington Post

Manager, Software Engineering, Professional Services

Apply Now

Philadelphia, PA - Center City

Odessa

Sr. Project Manager – ERP Implementations

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Technical.ly Dc

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!